Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Japanese People do not loot after earthquake, tsunami

with 2 comments

Folks, this is truly astonishing.  After the 9.0 earthquake in Japan last weekend, and the tsunami/wall of water that devastated many communities, you’d think the Japanese people would be in turmoil.  That they’d be so upset that they wouldn’t care what they did nor how they did it . . . in short, that there would be riots, and perhaps even looting.

But there isn’t.

Why is that?

Well, Ed West is wondering the same thing, here:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100079703/why-is-there-no-looting-in-japan/

As he says:

This is quite unusual among human cultures, and it’s unlikely it would be the case in Britain. During the 2007 floods in the West Country abandoned cars were broken into and free packs of bottled water were stolen. There was looting in Chile after the earthquake last year – so much so that troops were sent in; in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina saw looting on a shocking scale.

While Mr. West does not have an answer to this unusual, yet welcome phenomenon (there being no known rioting or looting in Japan despite extreme devastation in many areas, including at least one coastal town completely wiped off the map by the tsunami), I’m glad it’s occurred.  It’s amazing that this has happened, and I hope it continues.

Note that right now, as of 9:56 CDT, the workers at the Fukishima Nuclear Plant have been evacuated as the radiation levels have become so high that they’d not have survived if they’d stayed.  Over fifty workers had tried to shut that plant down by cooling it down, but their efforts have failed . . . all we can do now is hope the altruism shown by world governments, as well as the stoicism and self-belief shown by the people of Japan, will continue as things could be even worse unless that plant somehow cools down by itself (as now no workers can help in the effort, it would literally have to be either equipment failure that actually helps the plant cool down or perhaps an act of God that stops the plant from exploding or imploding to the point radiation levels do not rise).

I’ve been following this situation and I will continue to do so; the only reason I hadn’t yet blogged about it is because of the plethora of blogs I’ve seen all over the Web.  I have at least a few friends in Japan and several friends of Japanese extraction who are American . . . I wish I knew what to do besides saying my prayers are with them, because that sounds so clichéd that it’s almost meaningless/worthless.

Yet I do hope for the best and will continue to do so, as I strongly suspect most people around the world are doing the same.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

March 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I think it’s more do with their cultural upbringing, one where the Western (Eurocentric) perspective doesn’t come into equation…

    Piotr

    March 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    • That’s probably true, Pio. But Deity bless them for refusing to do this . . . looting is counter-survival in most instances and to me seems like something that comes out of our fight or flight reflexes — the oldest, most atavistic set of things we have as human beings.

      Barb Caffrey

      March 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm


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